Saturday, May 29, 2010

Before and after: Isidora's room

The before and after here is pretty remarkable, I think. Mostly because now Isidora has a room! Prior to moving into our house, Isidora's room was located in an enclosed hallway that had a nook just large enough for a mini crib. Nothing else of hers was actually kept in that room - her dresser/changing table was in the living room, as was the rocking chair, her clothes were in a closet in the living room, and her toys were everywhere.

When we moved, not only did Isidora get a room, but we were able to bring over some extra furniture from Matt's parents house that Juanita had bought before Isidora was born. This meant that instead of having a mini crib, we were able to upgrade to a full-sized crib!

Here is Isidora's crib in our apartment. I really liked the wall stickers in her "room" and I loved that it was quiet and dark in there.

Here is a shot of her room from the living room. As you can see, there is not much space in there.

Isidora did like her room, but she really didn't spend much time in there. She did love the mirror, though.

This is a repeat shot of the messy living room. You can see Isidora's changing area in the corner.

Isidora's room was painted in a light blue, and rather than trying to pick out a new color for the room, we decided that the color would work well enough, and it would help the room not be overly girly. We decided to decorate her room in pink and green, but we also added a little red. Here is Isidora's new room:

We still have the same dresser/changing table, as well as the same wall stickers and diaper stacker. The crib is new and was at Grant and Juanita's house. The hamper is also new, and was a find from Babies 'R Us.

This is Isidora's rocking chair, you can see a couple of the pictures that used to be above her changing table that are now framed in white.

This is Isidora's new rug and story time area. Every night before bed, we read a story to Isidora, which used to take place on our bed. The big red pillows were something that my mom made for me when I went to college and we thought they would be a great story time area, especially after we found the run with the red accents. We wanted a small rug for Isidora's room that had pink and green in it to help tie the room together. We found this rug also at Babies 'R Us, and we were happy that it allowed us to add a little red to the room (one of my favorite colors). The lamp was a mix and match lamp from Target to add to the little pop of red in the room.

Here is a shot of the inside wall of her room. This set of drawers and hutch were also in Grant and Juanita's house. I really like the new hooks on the wall (Command hooks) that my mom picked up for Izzie. The green bucket was a baby shower gift that I thought made a really cute trash can in here.

Another new purchase for Isidora's room were the curtains. One thing we were worried about was the change in amount of light in Isidora's room. She was used to her room being almost completely dark and now she was going to have a front-facing window in her room. So, we picked up these green curtains at Target. We also put up some pull backs (Elena, David and Katee did) so that we could easily open and close the curtains as well some blinds (Dad did) to darken the room even more.

This is the inside of Izzie's door which is not solid, but rather a bunch of window panes, so we bought this simple curtain (which my mom hemmed for us).

I really like that Isidora has a closet now! I had a hard time finding space for her old clothes in her apartment, so they were just stacked in various corners. Fortunately, the bins we bought to put them in fit perfectly:

Her clothes are stacked on the side and all of her dresses finally have a real home. We were also able to find her shoes a nice home - before, they were usually under an end table or somewhere in our room.

Another thing I really like about Isidora's room is all of the wall stickers that my mom meticulously put up on the walls for us (after I meticulously pulled them all off of the wall). The accents are all over the room and I really enjoy them!

So far Isidora really seems to like her room and I am really happy that she actually has a room. She has adjusted to her new space and loves going in there.

Only the yard is left!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Before and after: our bedroom

As I have mentioned before, our bedroom in our apartment was more of a multi-purpose room than a bedroom. It also doubled as our office with both of our desks and two book shelves, as well as a play area for Isidora (but then again, what wasn't a play area for Isidora in our apartment?). The only reason we could fit this much into our room was because it was a huge room.

One of the things Matt and I have focused on in the new house is having adult spaces and kid spaces, and this was one of the places that I think we made a huge improvement.

Here is a before picture - you can see Matt's desk, the door to the bathroom, Isidora's play area, and our television. There is just sooo much stuff in this room!

Here is a shot of the bed and part of my desk. Again, stuff everywhere.

In our new house, while our new bedroom is fairly large, I am pretty sure it is a little smaller than the one in our apartment. However, there is no office or play area or anything like that. It is just a bedroom!

Here is our bedroom as seen from the door. We have two sets of windows in our room, this set looks out into our back yard. The pictures above our bed were in our entryway in our apartment, and with the addition of some inexpensive frames, now adorn our bedroom.

This is looking at the wall that faces the bed, where we have my dresser. We also put my wooden chest in here that used to be in the living room (you couldn't see it because of Isidora's stuff) and we purchased a new hamper and trash can for the room (our old hamper was in our closet and was the one I had from college, not very attractive).

This was taken from the other side of the room, looking at Matt's dresser which belonged to his parents. It was sitting out in their garage and was used as Ben's work bench. It will be nice to have such a beautiful piece of furniture in our room!

Here is the final corner of our bedroom, with the door to our closet and another view of my dresser. Both sets of curtains and rods were in our old apartment (one set in the bedroom, one in the living room).

Here is a shot of our closet before we filled it up with clothes. It is kind of an odd arrangement, but it has worked well so far - we put the clothes we use more often in the front, and things like dresses, suits and off-season stuff in the back. Most importantly, it is much bigger than our old closet, and our clothes are no longer spilling over into the coat/linen closet.

Not much more to go - only Isidora's room and the yard remain :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Before and after: (master) bathroom

Our old bathroom in our apartment had its charm. What it didn't have was storage, which I really started to dislike after a while. The bathroom also had two doors - one to our bedroom and one into the hallway where Izzie's crib was that led to the living room.

Here you can see our old bathroom. I really liked the bathroom set we had as well as our towels and everything. I just didn't like the lack of storage.

In our new house, we no longer have a connected bathroom, but it is only about 4 feet away. Also, since we have a bathroom in the basement, it can act as a master bathroom fairly easily. This bathroom was also recently renovated and ceramic tile flooring and a custom tile surround in the shower.

Here is a shot of the bathroom we took when we were first looking at the house. You can kind of get a glimpse at the tile in the shower.

Because the walls in the new bathroom were mauve, and we decided we liked the color, we went ahead and purchased a new bath set and new towels. Plus, check out all the storage!

Here is a closer look at the bath set. We bought brown and sea foam towels and we really like them so far. I am really happy with how everything has turned out in here!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Before and after: the kitchen

I think our kitchen is the one of the biggest improvements we have made in moving to our new house. In our apartment, our kitchen didn't even comfortably fit two people. Not only did it not have a dishwasher, it didn't have a garbage disposal. While that wasn't too big of a deal when it was just Matt and I, it became pretty annoying once Isidora was around. We had so little counter space there that Matt and I pretty much stopped cooking - it was simply too difficult. Instead, we ate soup, sandwiches, or pasta if we were lucky.

Here is our old kitchen - I am standing at the entrance, so you can kind of get an idea of how small it is. Everything in our kitchen is small - you can see that the refrigerator is a smaller than normal one (I am taller than it). The counter in the middle of the picture is the only counter space we have.

This was our stove/oven. Again, it is an efficiency stove so it is smaller than normal - but it is a gas stove and oven which was nice.

Here is the sink and drying rack - again, nothing fancy.

While our new kitchen isn't huge, it is a big improvement. It was recently renovated with a ceramic tile floor and custom cabinets.

This is a shot of the kitchen from the entry from the dining room. As you can see, we have already made a big improvement in the counter space department.

This was taken from the entrance to the mud room (Isidora's play room). I really like the black appliances, the stainless steel sink and the grey counter tops.

This is the new kitchen table we purchased from Weekends Only. It has worked really well so far and I love the white with wood look - I think it goes so well with the look of the kitchen. The plate on the wall was a wedding present from some family friends of Matt's, and I really like the way it fit in this room.

One thing that Matt and I had discussed before we moved to the new place was how many and where we wanted televisions. We decided that we only wanted two televisions in the house - one in the family room and one in the kitchen. We also decided that the only way we were going to fit a television in the kitchen was to get a flat screen and mount it on the wall - so here is the result. The butcher block was in our old kitchen at the apartment and I like that we can display our Le Creuset cookware on the shelf underneath it.

Here is a bonus shot looking straight through the kitchen from the dining room with the door to the basement on the left.

The best things about our new kitchen:
- When we wake up in the morning (aka when Isidora wakes us up in the morning) to make breakfast, I can sit and watch the news while I drink my coffee.
- We sit at a table to eat again.
- We can both be preparing food in the kitchen at the same time.
- We have full-sized appliances (Matt keeps losing things in the fridge).
- We both feel inspired to cook again - that may be the best part.

Only 4 more before and after posts to go! - our bedroom, Izzie's room, our bathroom and the yard.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Before and after: guest area

When we lived in our apartment, whenever anyone wanted to come visit us, especially after Isidora was born, they couldn't stay with us, simply because we didn't have enough space. We didn't even have a large enough couch for anyone to sleep on as the one we had was only a love seat. Instead, when my family came to visit us, they stayed at Matt's parents' house and we would visit them over there. I never really liked this arrangement because I always felt we were missing out on a lot of time that we could have been spending with our visitors (Isidora's bed time is 7 pm and we had to be home by that time).

When looking for our new house, we really wanted to have either a third bedroom or space for a guest to sleep and a second bathroom (I would have settled for one really nice bathroom). With a finished basement in our new house, we were able to use part of the basement to put a queen bed and the downstairs bathroom as a guest bathroom/Isidora's bathroom.

Here is our bathroom in our old apartment. One thing I really didn't like about it was that the sink didn't have any storage underneath, which meant that there was always stuff everywhere in the bathroom and stuff that had to be stored outside of the bathroom (potentially problematic).

Here is our new guest area. The bed frame was Matt's sister's and was sitting in his parents' garage for who knows how long. We bought the night stand and queen mattress and box at Weekends Only and bought the new sheet set at Macy's. The table at the foot of the bed was our coffee table from the apartment and will be used for guest's suitcases when they come to visit.

Here is a close-up of the bed with Matt's Star Wars shrine in the other window nook.

Here is a picture of the armoire that goes with the bed frame. We have used it to store sheets, blankets, quilts, table linens and odds and ends like batteries, candles and light bulbs. You can see that our office area and the guest area are on opposite walls (that is the coffee table at the food of the bed in the bottom left corner).

This is the new guest bathroom. We decided that our current bathroom set didn't go well in the bathroom upstairs, but would look really nice downstairs. That also meant that we could continue to use the set of towels we got as wedding presents could continue to be used as guest towels (I think they are pretty nice towels).

Here is a shot of the other side of the bathroom. This is also Isidora's bathroom, which is nice because then we don't have to keep all of her toys, soaps, and towels in our bathroom. Another thing we have done is finally let Isidora take baths in the full bath tub rather than use her little tub. She seems to be enjoying it so far. Also, this bathroom is actually larger than our bathroom upstairs and has a closet behind the door (right behind where I am standing in this photo), which has been great for storing our extra towels, cleaning supplies, etc. Plus, when Becky stayed with us for a week and a half, she said everything worked really well!

Furthermore, we now have two couches that are big enough for people to sleep on, not to mention a recliner should we need to have a whole herd of people stay at our house :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Before and after: office

An office is another thing we didn't really have in our apartment. Our bedroom was another obligatory multi-purpose room where we also had our office and a play area for Isidora. Fortunately, our bedroom was fairly large in our old apartment, and we did have room for two book shelves and two desks in addition to our bed and dresser.

This is a shot of Matt's desk in the corner of our bedroom. Again this was right before we moved so nothing is picked up. You can see one of the doors to our bathroom in the middle of the picture.

Here is a picture of my desk, which almost always looked this messy.

In our new house, we didn't want our bedroom to continue to be more than a bedroom, and our finished basement offered the opportunity to move all other activities out. So here is our new office:

This was taken from the edge of the family room (you can see the sectional accent pillow in the bottom left corner). Izzie's play area is to the right, Matt is sitting at his desk (obviously) and my desk is on the right (which was my desk in college which I purchased at Ikea).

Here is a close-up of Matt's new desk (again from Weekends Only, of course), with the Death Star in the background. The two book shelves were previously in our bedroom and prior to that were in Matt's room at his parents' house.

We both like having our desks away from our bedroom and actually having a space to have an office. It allows us to not just sit at our computers all day because the things we want to do (eat, watch some tv, play with Izzie) are in other locations of the house. I feel like I have spent far less time on my computer since we have moved in, and not just because I have been busy unpacking.

Still left on the before and after list: our bedroom, Izzie's bedroom, the bathrooms, the guest area, the kitchen, and our yard.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Before and after: family room

We didn't really have a family room in our apartment, we only had a living room that was more of a multi-purpose room. In our new house, we have a finished basement where we have put a family room (as well as an office, Izzie's play area, and a guest area to be discussed later).

Here is a shot of our family room from the stairs. The door leads into our laundry room and the hallway leads back to the second bathroom.

This is the new sectional we bought from Weekends Only (I am starting to feel like a broken record). The striped pillows are the accent pillows that came with the sectional, while the dotted pillows are the ones that came with the sofa in the living room. Matt and I already love this sofa and it is so comfortable.

Here is a shot of the room from the entrance to the office area. In the window nook you can see Matt's shrine to the Cardinals. The recliner is another new purchase that we already love that amazingly enough goes perfectly with both sets of accent pillows.

This is a shot showing the passage to the office, with Izzie's play area in the unseen corner on the right.

That's all for now! More to come soon...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Before and after: living room

In preparing for purchasing a new home, Matt and I had done a lot of thinking about what furniture we wanted to take with us and what we wanted to get rid of. We both agreed that our current sofa and chairs needed to go. They, like our dining room table, were a garage sale purchase, and while they were useful during medical school, Matt and I were ready for some real furniture.

Part of the problem with our old living room was that it was used for many purposes - living room, dining room, and Izzie's play area and storage area, as well as the location of her rocking chair and dresser/changing table. In our new house, one thing that I have really focused on is having Isidora areas and adult areas - I think the living room is one of the prime examples of this.

Here is a shot of our living room in our apartment. Of course there is stuff everywhere because I wasn't interested in cleaning it up just to take pictures. You can see all of Isidora's stuff in the corner. We rarely sat on the couch - mostly we just sat on the floor in front of the couch to eat dinner at the coffee table. The plant on the book shelf was given to me by my parents when I first moved in to the Hawthorne - and it is still alive!!

Here is a shot of the sofa and one of the two chairs. You can see Isidora's dresser/ changing table in the corner. Also, Isidora's high chair is here because this was our eating area as well (the carpet definitely showed it).

On to the new house! We were able to give our old floral couch and green chairs to a good friend of ours who was looking for some furniture and we headed over to Weekends Only to pick out some new furniture. Matt and I have been setting aside money for essentially all of medical school and we had decided that whatever we got in our tax return, we would put toward things we would need for the house (furniture, appliances, etc.) Weekends Only was a great find for us because it is a furniture outlet store - they buy furniture from other furniture stores in the area that are not selling, and then Weekends Only lowers their overhead by being open only 3 days per week and not including things like warranties or delivery. That way, they are able to offer furniture for approximately half the price.

So, for the living room, we were originally looking at a sofa and loveseat pair, but then we came upon this sofa:

This is a Broyhill sofa that was the only one of its kind bought by Weekends Only. Apparently, this sofa is pretty fancy stuff - and we were able to get it for a steal! However, that meant that there was not going to be a matching sofa - so, we wondered around until I spotted this chair:

These are swivel chairs made by Ashley Furniture and once I sat on it, there was no turning back - I really loved to sit and rock back and forth, it was so relaxing. And again, we got the chairs for a great deal. I was also able to call the Ashley Furniture Store and order two accent pillows with fabric matching the chairs in order to bring the room together, and the pillows go really well with the couch, even though they aren't made by the same company.

Another thing I loved about our house was our stained glass windows (seen above). As we were wondering around the store, Matt spotted this lamp:

It is a Tiffany style lamp that went so nicely with the style of the house, we picked up two of them for our living room. These were actually more than 75% off original retail price, and I love they way they look in our living room.

So here is the finished product - other things we picked up at Weekends Only were the coffee table and end tables, the book shelf, and the rug you can see in the first two pictures of the new living room. You can see the plant my parents bought for us has made it all the way to the new house (with a significant hair cut).

I have to say, I really love our living room. The sofa is so comfortable, and as Matt says, you can tell it is very well made simply by looking at the little details in the sofa. Of course, Isidora and I both love the swivel chairs - we have pulled them out from the wall and other furniture so they are not in danger of hitting anything. What I may like most about our living room is that there is not a toy in sight - it is an adult space (even though right behind the door in the third picture is Isidora's room), and it is a great place to sit and chat or read a book or just relax.